COVID-19 Resources for Individuals
- Unemployment Insurance
- Cash Payment Relief
- Paying Rent and Mortgages
- Student Loans
- Food and Nutrition Resources
- Child Care
- Resources Specifically for Immigrants
Determine your Unemployment Insurance eligibility by visiting the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) website and downloading their eligibility checklist. Learn more about important changes and subscribe to updates about ESD’s response to COVID-19. Before applying for Unemployment, make sure you have all the information you'll need with this application checklist.
To apply for benefits, you will need to create a Secure Access Washington (SAW) account. Be sure to watch this video on how to set up your SAW account.Check the regularly updated Employment Security Department’s COVID FAQ page for more information.
- Information on how to file for unemployment insurance.
- Information on how to file for workers' compensation.
Visit this list of resources from King County to help navigate different agencies and how to file for unemployment or workers’ compensation.
Cash Payment Relief
Millions of individuals who do not normally file income taxes are entitled to an economic impact payment (also known as a stimulus check). The IRS created the Get My Payment tool, which allows you to opt in for direct deposit for the Economic Impact Payments and check the status of your payment. Get My Payment cannot update bank account information after an Economic Impact Payment has been scheduled for delivery.
People who filed 2018 or 2019 tax returns with direct deposit information or receive Social Security do not need to take action. They will automatically receive payment in their bank accounts. People who did not file a tax return in 2018 or 2019 can use Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here to submit basic personal information to quickly and securely receive their Economic Impact Payments.
If you have not yet received your payment, learned if you are eligible, or calculated how much you are entitled to, you can see the FAQs and more at the Economic Impact Payment Information Center.
The Internal Revenue Service announced that the deadline to register for an Economic Impact Payment (EIP) is now Nov. 21, 2020. This new date will provide an additional five weeks beyond the original deadline. This additional time into November is solely for those who have not received their EIP and don’t normally file a tax return. For taxpayers who requested an extension of time to file their 2019 tax return, that deadline date remains Oct. 15.
The IRS urges people who don’t typically file a tax return – and haven’t received an Economic Impact Payment – to register as quickly as possible using the Non-Filers: Enter Info Here tool on IRS.gov. The tool will not be available after Nov. 21.
If you work with an organization helping consumers claim their stimulus checks, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just released the guide Helping Consumers Claim the Economic Impact Payment: A guide for intermediary organizations. The guide contains step-by-step information for direct service and community organizations frontline staff on how to:
- Discuss the EIP with clients;
- Determine if clients need to take action; and
- Support clients with what to expect and how to troubleshoot common issues or address scenarios such as not having a permanent address
Paying Rent and Mortgages
If you are unable to make your rent payment, contact your landlord immediately and try to work out an agreement. If you are in need of rental assistance, you can also contact a housing counseling agency toll-free (800) 569-4287. They can help point you in the right direction.
Gov. Jay Inslee announced the extensions of the eviction moratorium and public utility proclamations to December 31, 2020 as COVID-19 continues to impact the finances of Washingtonians statewide.
Legislation prohibits landlords from evicting tenants for 120 days provided the landlord’s mortgage is insured, guaranteed, supplemented, protected, or assisted in any way by HUD, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the rural housing voucher program, or the Violence Against Women Act of 1994. Information about a moratorium on evictions in place as a result of recent federal legislation signed into law can be found HERE.
NEW EXPANSION OF RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
United Way of King County is offering one month of rental assistance to income-eligible people in King County struggling to pay rent. Individuals who need rental help can access the funds by calling 211 or completing an application online.
- You can contact the Washington Homeownership Hotline at 1-877-894-HOME for more information and assistance.
- If I Can’t Pay My Mortgage Loan, What Are My Options? - Information from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
- List of Housing Counseling Agencies in Washington - Housing counselors may be able to assist you with your needs. Contact a housing counselor near you.
- Find out if you qualify for protections in recent legislation by visiting Fannie Mae: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Help and using Fannie Mae’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-2FANNIE (1-800-232-6643); or visiting Freddie Mac: Extending Help to Homeowners Impacted by COVID-19 and using Freddie Mac’s Loan Lookup Tool or calling 1-800-FREDDIE (1-800-373-3343).
The U.S. Department of Education is providing updates and answers to frequently asked questions for students and student borrowers on the Federal Student Aid website.
What if I am having trouble making payments?
If you’re having trouble making payments, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible. If you have a Federal Perkins Loan, contact your school. You can easily avoid the consequences of delinquency or default by staying in touch with your servicer or school.
Your servicer or school can provide information about deferment or forbearance options that allow you to temporarily stop making payments on your loans. You may also be able to change to a different repayment plan that would give you a lower monthly payment.
Some students can temporarily stop making payments: To provide relief to student loan borrowers during the COVID-19 national emergency, federal student loan borrowers can be placed in an administrative forbearance, which allows you to temporarily stop making your monthly loan payment through September 30, 2020. Read the borrower Q&As below to learn more, and contact your loan servicer to find out your specific options.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- Do I need to make student loan payments during this crisis?
The CARES Act provides borrowers with relief for most federal loans. The bill suspends payments and interest accrual on most federal loans until September 20, 2020. The suspension of payments would not adversely impact a borrower’s eligibility for loan forgiveness. Additionally, the bill suspends debt collection on federal student loans – prohibiting wage garnishment, tax seizure, and benefits reduction. Monitor the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid website for the latest updates, which is available here, or call them at 1-800-872-5327.
Please note that, while debt collection is paused for eligible federal student loans, debt collection may continue for other consumer loan obligations.
- What types of student loans are covered?
All loans owned by the Department of Education will be covered under the CARES Act, including having interest waived and payment suspended. Eligible loans include Direct Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, and Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans held by the Department of Education. However, FFEL Program loans that are owned by private lenders, and some Perkins Loans which are owned by the college or university you attended, are not covered. Private student loans are not eligible for protection, but you can contact your private student loan servicer to see if they, in their discretion, will provide some payment or interest relief.
- Who should I contact if my servicer is still taking my student loan payments?
If you’re having issues with your student loans, you may want to contact your student loan servicer first. To find out who your student loan servicer is, you can call Federal Student Aid at 1-800-433-3243.
If your student loan servicer is unable to assist you, you may want to submit a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau through their complaints webpage, available here. You can also contact the CFPB via telephone by calling (855) 411-2372.
- Student Loan Deferment or Forbearance - Information from the Department of Education.
- Washington Student Achievement Council COVID-19 Resources - Information and resources from the Washington Student Achievement Council
WA State Food/Nutrition Resources
- This website offers up-to-date information on food assistance resources available to Washingtonians through state, local, and federal programs.
- This website provides information about food access programs and services to help support King County residents during this difficult time.
Apply for SNAP (Food Stamps) Benefits
Map displaying locations of free public food resources in King County, updated weekly by Public Health - Seattle & King County and City of Seattle including "Grab and Go" student meal sites in King County.
- All children up to 18 years of age are eligible to receive a free packed breakfast/lunch meal at the sites listed. Children do not need to be enrolled in that school district to receive meals, but they do need to be present. Meals are "grab and go"—Students will not stay onsite to eat.
Summer Meals for Students in City of Seattle: The City of Seattle is providing free breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for children ages 1-18 through our Summer Food Service Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program will run from July 1 through August 21, 2020. Use the Summer Meals Search Tool to find a meal distribution site in your area.
Due to COVID-19 school closures, families may be eligible to get help with food benefits called Pandemic EBT Emergency School Meals Program (P-EBT). Most families who already receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, and whose children already receive free or reduced-price meals do not need to apply.
Families with children who are eligible and approved by their school district for free or reduced-price meals and who do not currently get Basic Food benefits, must apply online at Washingtonconnection.org for P-EBT before August 31 or the start of the 2020-2021 school year—whichever is later.
Find a Local Food Bank
- In Western Washington, find a Food Lifeline partner in your area.
- Throughout Washington, find a Northwest Harvest partner in your area.
- How do I apply for SNAP?
Visit the WA State SNAP Website. Effective, March 26, 2020 you can apply for Basic Food Assistance online or by phone at 1-877-501-2233. Once COVID-19 is over, we will resume normal operations at local Community Services Offices. Note: the application for benefits is available in several languages (English, Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese).
- Do I qualify for SNAP if I am getting unemployment insurance?
Your household must meet certain requirements to be eligible for SNAP and receive benefits, even if you are getting unemployment insurance. If your state agency determines that you are eligible to receive SNAP benefits, you will receive benefits back to the date you submitted your application.
- How long will I be able to get SNAP?
If you are determined to be eligible for SNAP, you will receive a notice from the state agency that tells you how long you will receive SNAP.
- How much will I receive?
SNAP benefits are based on your family size and income. Are you eligible? Try WA State’s online benefit estimator. NOTE: WA State is providing temporary emergency CR-SNAP benefits so all participating households receive up to the maximum monthly allotment for the household’s size.
- What can I buy with SNAP benefits?
You can use SNAP benefits to buy most food items, except hot foods; prepared foods for immediate consumption; alcohol; tobacco; vitamins, medicines, and supplements; and any nonfood items.
Are you an essential worker who lives or works in King County and you need childcare to be able to do your job? If the answer is YES, King County is here to help you access free emergency child care.
- For those who live or work in King County, but outside of City of Seattle: If you are interested in accessing the free emergency child care slots, please call the Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center at 1-800-446-1114 to reach staff who will conduct a phone intake with you! After the intake, a resources specialist will work with you to match you with an eligible child care provider that meets your family's needs. The County and its partners are working quickly, and hope to have child care available by mid-April.
- For those who live or work in the City of Seattle: If you need infant or child care, you may be eligible for the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). CCAP is open to qualifying families who live in Seattle and have working parents or a parent attending school. CCAP provides financial assistance to pay for child care services for children up to 13 years old. To learn more, please call 206-386-1050, email CCAP@seattle.gov, or visit their website.
City of Seattle Parents: For working families, or a parent going to school, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is set to help those who are eligible and living within the Seattle city limits pay for child care services for children up to 13 years old. Go to the CCAP website to learn more about eligibility.
Boys & Girls Clubs of King County
Select Boys & Girls Clubs are offering a full days of care for school-aged children. There are no additional costs for current club members and new teen members would pay a $50 membership fee. New non-teen members would pay a $50 membership fee and a $25/day fee. Scholarships are also available.
Additional Help and Resources: You are seeking child care and would like additional resources or help, you can call the Child Care COVID-19 Communications, Response, and Referral Center at 1-800-446-1114 or visit the Child Care Resources website.
Resources for Immigrants
If you are an immigrant searching for information on what services you are eligible for, please know that all Seattle residents regardless of immigration status are eligible for City of Seattle programs and services unless noted otherwise. Resources related. Here is a resource page from the City of Seattle.
COVID-19 Assistance Eligibility and Public Charge Information for Immigrants
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs compiled this COVID-19 Eligibility and Public Charge Guide for Immigrants who want to know more about how the issue of public charge might affect their ability to access healthcare and other services listed on this page.
Resources for Veterans
What to do if you are a veteran and you think you have COVID-19:
Before visiting local VA medical facilities, community providers, urgent care centers, or emergency departments in their communities, veterans experiencing COVID-19 symptoms—such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath—are encouraged to call their VA medical facility or call MyVA311 (844-698-2311, press #3 to be connected).
Veterans can also send secure messages to their health care providers via MyhealtheVet, VA’s online patient portal. VA clinicians will evaluate veterans’ symptoms and direct them to the most appropriate providers for further evaluation and treatment. This may include referral to state or local health departments for COVID-19 testing.
Updates From Local VA Facilities in the Puget Sound:
Procedures and access to VA facilities are changing frequently in response to COVID-19. Be sure to check here for the latest information on operations at your local VA.
GI Bill Benefits: Student veterans will continue to receive their GI Bill benefits under the Student Veteran Coronavirus Act. Student veterans will not see a reduction in their monthly housing allowance as a result of their schools moving to online instruction due to COVID-19. Benefits will continue automatically and current GI Bill beneficiaries are not required to take any action. Student veterans may contact the Education Call Center with questions at (888) 442-4551 between 5 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.
Congressional Action to Support Veterans: In the latest COVID-19 relief bill, Congress provided $14.4 billion to support the surge in demand for healthcare services at VA hospitals and clinics. Needs addressed by this funding include:
- Medical equipment, COVID-19 test kids, personal protective equipment
- Expansion of telehealth visits, including tele-ICU and teleradiology capabilities
- Healthcare for Homeless Veterans
- Supportive Services for the Veterans Families for very-low income veteran families in need of services to promote housing stability
- COVID-19 positive veterans within VA-run nursing homes and community living center